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23140Re: Piravom Settlement

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  • Chev. Advocate P J Philip
    May 2, 2012
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      Dear Friends,

      The saga of Piravom Church being converted to a Cathedral is coming to a close.

      One is left to wonder as to what purpose is achieved by this sort of declaration being done outside the Church.

      High Religious dignitaries of both the Sabha are not able to enter inside the Piravom Church and conduct Holy Qurbana from its Altar.

      Even after 12th of May/2012, the Piravom Church building will continue to be of the same shape and size.

      However, to bring out the truth relating to the affairs,I would like to say the following,viz;

      " [i] There was a Suit, O.S No 15/1977, instituted by the Catholicos faction basically to declare that the Piravom Church to be administered by the provisions of the 1934, Constitution of malankara orthodox church.In 1980-1981, there was Court direction to conduct election of managing committee and trustees through an Advocate Commissioner without following the provisions of any Constitution. This was carried out. Committee members and trustees elected were directed to continue as Receivers of the Court,

      [ii] Needless to say that all committee members and trustees were from the Patriarch Faction. Point to be noted is that it was a court held election without following any disputed Constitution. The records of this election is in Court and it is public record.The number of voters identifying with both factions is clear friom the said record,

      [iii] After the judgement of Supreme Court in 1995, the Orthodox Faction withdrew from O S No 15 of 1977.They also wanted the court elected committee members to hand over possession to those who were in management on the date of the said suit.

      [iv] The above stand of the Orthodox Faction ultimately resulted in the Judgement of the Division Bench of the High Court of Kerala reported in AIR 1998 KERALA 237.The Division Bench directed Conduct of elections of fresh Committee members and trustees of Piravom Church by following the provisions of the 1934, Constitution through COMMISSIONERS.

      [V] There was a direction that each voter of the Parish Assembly of the Piravom Church should swear allegiance to the 1934, Constitution in the form of an affidavit presented to the Commissioners.The reasoning of the Division Bench was that each Voter of the Parish Assembly is holding an "office" in the Malankara Church and is ,therefore, bound by the directions contained in the Apex Court order reported in AIR 1997 SC 1035,

      [VI] The Apex Court had directed that each office bearer appointed by the rival factions after 1.1.1971 should swear allegiance to 1934, Constitution subject to which status quo was directed to be maintained till a fair election of the Managing Committee of the Malankara Association is held,

      [vii] A "Voter" of the Parish Assembly is not appointed by anyone. He gets his rights as a voter by virtue of the fact that he/she is a member of the Church.It is an integral part of the democracy which is recognised as a basic tenent of the Church by the Supreme Court of INDIA. THE DIRECTION TO THE VOTER TO SWEAR ALLEGIANCE TO 1934, CONSTITUTION IS FUNDAMENDALLY WRONG AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN CHALLENGED,

      [viii] The " Legal Cell" of the Piravom Church in their wisdom did not challenge it. They forced each voter of Piravom Church to affix Signatures in affidavits swearing allegiance to the 1934, Constitution. Accordingly fresh elections were held through Court and the trusttees and committee members took charge of Piravom Pally. It was repeated in subsequent years also. The present trustees and committee members are obviously elected by following this procedure through Court,

      [ix] In other words, the trustees and committee members of Piravom Church are holding office on the basis of interim directions passed by the Court[ Special Court for Church Cases and confirmed by the HIGH COURT OF KERALA. THEY ARE ALL BOUND BY THE DIVISION BENCH RULING MENTIONED ABOVE WITH RESPECT TO PIRAVOM CHURCH.

      [xi] There is now a Suit, O.S No 6 of 1985= under consideration by the Special Court for Church Cases [Additional District Court, Ernakulam]. The prayer therein is that there should be a Declaration that the Piravom Church should be administered by the 1934, Constitution. Trial has started. It is at an advanced stage.

      This is the time for those in charge of the affairs of this ancient Jacobite Church to carefully apply their mind as to what exactly is their defence in this Suit.Did they have a discussion with the Jacobite Church Legal Cell under His Beatitude as to whether their contentions are legally and factually tenable at this stage? Heve they read the Judgement by the Special Court for Church Cases [Additional District Court, Ernakulam] in the Kolencherry Church case?

      Hope that you will do it so that the Piravom Church will not be trapped by the Orthodox Faction through judicial process.

      MISTAKES COMMITTED ARE THE FOLLOWING,VIZ;

      [A] Not challenging the illegal direction that each voter of the Parish Assembly is holding an office in the Malankara Church and that they should swear allegiance to the 1934, Constituition of the Malankara Church to qualify as a Voter,

      [B] Not challenging the order of the District Collector immediately. Waiting for our function to be over and then challenging it was a mistake.

      It is hoped that our emotional brothers at Piravom Church will not repeat the above mistakes. Ignore vested interests with bloated ego at work. Contact Church Secretary and Bva and get your matter discussed and considered at Sabha level. Kolencherry people did not do it when their suit was considered by the Special Court for Church Cases [Additional District Court, Ernakulam]. They lost the case.Rest is history.
      With Prayers,
      Chev; Advocate P J PHILIP,
      E-187, KOCHI
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